Press Release Oct 10, 2017

New Bill Aims to Unravel Law that Protects Public Lands

The House Natural Resources Committee is rushing to vote on a new bill Wednesday afternoon that guts the Antiquities Act, a law that protects public lands and waters.

Background: The House Natural Resources Committee is rushing to vote on a new bill Wednesday afternoon that guts the Antiquities Act, a law that protects public lands and waters. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop less than a week ago, fails to give members ample opportunity to discuss and debate it before the committee vote. The Antiquities Act has been used by both republican and democratic presidents to protect such places as the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty, has been a key tool in preserving some of America’s most iconic landscapes and most important history and culture.

Following is a statement from Ani Kame’enui, Director of Legislation and Policy at National Parks Conservation Association:

“This legislation is extreme in its attempts to undermine the president’s ability to protect our most important public lands and waters. Americans should be appalled that anyone in Congress would want to dismantle the law responsible for creating many of our national parks. If passed, this legislation would be devastating not only to our nation’s history, but also to our local economies. Under this bill, iconic places like Arches and Zion national parks, both in Congressman Bishop’s home state of Utah, would never have been created. And yet these two parks generate a total of $585 million for the communities that surround them, from jobs to visitor spending.

“The legislation includes language that grants the president the authority to reduce the size of our country’s national monuments, all but admitting the administration’s current interest in doing this is unlawful. At least we can agree on that.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.